The Circle {Book Review}

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What I'm Reading: Book Reviews from an Avid Reader: The Circle by Dave Eggers

As a teen and young adult, I was an avid fiction reader. As I moved through adulthood, however, I found my genre of choice shift to non-fiction and memoirs. I love learning and love being swept away in someone else’s story. I have a few fiction authors I love (Stephen King, John Grisham and Michael Crichton to name a few). In all, I probably read one fiction book for every twenty non-fiction books I read. 

I recently saw the trailer for the new movie The Circle and was captivated. When I saw it was based on the novel by Dave Eggers I immediately bought it for my Kindle and dove in. Before I talk about this book specifically, let me say that I am not a fan of dystopian novels. I feel like the genre is way over done.

The Circle is different. 

It feels neither negative nor futuristic. It feels like something that could happen. Soon.

Mae Holland is excited to begin her dream job at The Circle the world’s biggest and most powerful internet company. Mae is in awe of everything Circle does. How amazing would it be if we all shared our knowledge? How helpful would it be to have a way to track and organize everything about you? About your children? Your health records, education, job history? What if people stopped hoarding knowledge and began sharing instead? It all sounds so perfect and Mae is an enthusiastic follower.

The Circle is a new and relevant 1984. Nothing in this book seems futuristic. As a blogger who is heavily involved in social media, it was easy to follow Mae’s journey as well as Egger’s view of what social media could become. Eggers does a fantastic job of weaving a story that points out the absurdity of some social media movements (in the book Circlers send smiles and frowns to foreign governments) to the dangers of sharing everything (Sharing is Caring. Privacy is Theft).

I was swept up in the plot of this book, the struggles Mae faces (what would you be willing to exchange for life-saving medical care?) and the reality of questions we should all be asking ourselves today.

I was inspired to read The Circle after seeing the trailer for the movie. As an avid reader, I always want to read the book before watching the movie. In this case, I am so glad it is being made into a movie because otherwise, I would likely have never picked up the books. As it is, The Circle is one of the best books I’ve read in 2016.

What do you think, book or movie first? Have you read The Circle? Will you be seeing the movie?

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14 Responses

  1. Never even heard about this but it is now on my Amazon list!!!! Thank you!! I just finished reading Dark Matter by Blake Crouch yesterday. Super trippy sci-fi but so good!

    • Come back and tell me what you thought after you read it. I am dying to discuss it with someone. I’m off to check out Dark Matter now ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. I read it–the notion that privacy is theft creeped me out completely . . .

    • Totally…the book is so thought provoking. What if you had to exchange privacy for medical care?

      • We do already, in so many ways–now that I have breast cancer, cancer ads pop up all the time.But we haven’t gotten to the mind-reading phase. Yet.

        • Yes…I think about this in regard to Apollo. What would I exchange for medical treatment for him? Would I withhold care to maintain privacy? Thought-provoking issues…

          • Yes! But since Snowden’s revelations (and I do defend his exposure of what I’d view as too much surveillance) I think we don’t have privacy. But I console myself with the thought that really, no one cares to disrupt my life even though intimate details of it may pass through computers and minds in whom I’d never choose to confide. If I were very wealthy or influential, things might be different. I prize my anonymity!

  3. Have you read anything about the Chinese govt and their credit rating system come controlling the population system. Your rating is effected by the people you are linked to, so if you are friends with someone who is not supportive of the govt and as such gets a lower rating it will lower your rating. Not compulsory…. yet.

    • No, I’m looking it up right now. Have you read The Circle? That idea is definitely in the book.

  4. The irony in you “sharing” this on social media. ๐Ÿ˜‰ but you hooked me in. I’m about to start it on audiobook while I knit

  5. I love dystopian stories and I can’t wait to read this. My Kindle typed this for me.

  6. […] if you haven’t already read The Circle read it. ย This is one book I can’t stop thinking […]

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